5 Reasons Why EVERYONE Needs Clean Underwear

…Especially those who are homeless.

New underwear is one of the most requested items by people who use our services, but one of the least donated. Men and women are often denied their request for undergarments because we simply have none to give.

Women are especially likely to be denied since women’s underwear is less frequently donated than men’s. When possible, they are offered the alternative of wearing men’s underwear, an experience that, apart from being physically uncomfortable, causes embarrassment and a reduced sense of self-worth. Our #DropYourGonch campaign aims to fill this desperate need by stocking our Community Closet full of clean, fresh underwear for participants to use.

We all know that it’s important to change our underwear every day, but some of the reasons why may surprise you. Here is a list of five reasons why clean underwear is critical for a person’s physical and emotional well-being.

1. Hygiene

Not changing your underwear regularly causes microbes and other bacteria to accumulate and fester, often causing an embarrassing odour and an itchy rash on the skin. To maintain hygiene and cleanliness, fresh underwear is a non-negotiable essential.

2. Health

Wearing the same underwear for an extended period of time can also have severe consequences for your personal health. The microbes and bacteria mentioned above can cause dangerous infections if they stay in contact with the skin for long periods of time, and the most serious of these can even lead to deadly conditions like kidney failure or bladder cancer. Clean underwear is more than a convenience; it is imperative to one’s health, and can even save lives!

3. Comfort

We offer free shower services at our Drop-in Centre, meaning participants who come in can get soap, shampoo, a razor, and other personal hygiene items, enjoy a hot shower, and leave feeling squeaky clean. And what’s the best part about taking a shower? Slipping into that nice, clean, fresh pair of undies when you’re done, of course! Our objective is to be able to provide every participant who uses our shower services with a clean pair of underwear. With your help, we can offer every participant that “just-showered-and-slipped-into-a-fresh-pair-of-undies” feeling, lending at least one small comfort to the people who need it most.

4. Self-confidence

The unpleasant odours and other adverse health effects caused by dirty undergarments can create something of a psychological barrier between the wearer and other people. Inevitably, the individual’s self-esteem and comfort in social interactions may suffer as a result. This impediment can be especially detrimental when it comes to significant interactions, like job interviews – situations that are already stressful enough without any added worries! A clean pair of undies allows the wearer the confidence they need to have successful relationships and social interactions.

5. Dignity

A clean pair of underwear can go a long way toward restoring an individual’s sense of dignity. The emotional toll of having to wear the same set of dirty undergarments for days, weeks, or months on end can be debilitating. A clean pair of underwear is more than a physical necessity – it can provide the recipient with a rejuvenated sense of dignity and self-worth. What gift could be more meaningful?

It’s easy to take for granted something as always having clean undergarments to wear every day. But for many people lacking basic life necessities, something so small really can make all the difference.

You can help!
Donate underwear today!

#DropYourGonch to Support Edmonton’s Homeless!

UPDATE: Because of your help, we collected 2,154 pairs of NEW underwear for the homeless folks in our community. That’s 1,154 above our initial goal of 1,000!

Thank You!!


We are excited to host our 2nd Annual #DropYourGonch underwear campaign encouraging the public to donate NEW underwear for homeless people in Edmonton.

The campaign starts Monday, July 20th and wraps up with a main event on Saturday, July 25th at our Thrift Shoppe (8818-118th Avenue) from 10:00am – 4:00pm.

The goal of the campaign is to collect 1,000 pairs of NEW underwear to meet the need through to the end of summer.

Underwear is one of the most asked for clothing items by people in the inner-city community, but one of the least donated.

“We are critically low and can’t fill the need at this moment”

— Devin Komarniski, Manager of Marketing and Communications

The campaign also promotes health and hygiene, while boosting self-esteem and confidence, which are crucial for people who are transitioning out of homelessness. People living on the streets may go months without a new pair of underwear, which creates discomfort and a lack of dignity as they struggle to get off the streets.

For more information about drop-off locations, how to donate online, and to learn more about the campaign, please visit our webpage.

#DropYourGonch…to support the homeless in Edmonton!

Bissell Centre and Mayfield Toyota hosts #DropYourGonch, a one-day underwear drive event urging the public to donate new underwear for the homeless in Edmonton. Free food will be provided by Century Hospitality and there will also be entertainment and door prizes.

The goal of the event is to collect 1,000 pairs of new underwear in support of Bissell Centre to provide comfort for people in need!

Underwear is one of the most asked for clothing items by those who are homeless, but one of the least donated. By reaching our goal of 1,000 pairs of new underwear it would allow us to provide approximately 20 fresh pairs to people in need every day throughout the summer.

A gift of new undies would mean so much and we’d love it if you’d join us!

#DropYourGonch Event Details:

When: Saturday, June 21st

Where: Mayfield Toyota (10220-170 street)

Time: 10:00am – 3:00pm

For more information about the event, please click here or contact Devin Komarniski, Acting Manager of Marketing & Communications, at dkomarniski@bissellcentre.org.